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Self Build Bamboo Bike Frame Kit Build Thread

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by chriswoody, 12 Oct 2017.

  1. themosquitoking

    themosquitoking Veteran

    What colour are you going to paint it? ​
  2. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    Colour is the million dollar question. The bike that inspired this madness, was a lovely electric blue, with silver wheels, stem etc. I really wanted to go down that route, however, as I started sourcing various bits it became apparent that silver was a hard colour to come by for some of my preferred components. So I ended up with black wheels, stem, chainset etc.

    I was still really keen on the blue though. Recently though my family have all been pushing for green. I've never been totally sold on the idea until i saw a bike in green which was close to British racing green and an all black groupset, wheels etc. So now I'm torn and I'll probably try a bit of both on some old scrap and see which I prefer. Ultimately though it is only the lugs which will be painted and when there finished the whole frame including the raw Bamboo will be lacquered. So it's trying to find a colour that will also complement the raw Bamboo colour.

    Paints wise, I was going to go down the car paint route, which is going to be a lot of effort to get a reasonable finish. But then I came across spray.bike who produce an interesting spray paint for bikes. It basically acts like a cross with traditional powder coat and spray paint, it goes on matt and needs a few coats of lacquer to create a gloss finish. Their instagram page has some interesting examples of finished frames. It seems to produce some good results with much less effort than car paints. So again i'm going to order some and experiment. Who knows how it will all go, but thats why this project is so much fun.
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2018
    dave r, ChrisEyles, odav and 6 others like this.
  3. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    My hat off to you, what a fantastic project. Sure beats an Airfix kit.
    chriswoody and raleighnut like this.
  4. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    OK, so progress has slowed a little, I know, I know, I was already moving along like a tortoise! The hold up now is the weather ironically. Up till now I've been working in the relative warmth of my cellar, however, I now need to smooth out the lugs prior to painting and this requires the use of filler and sanding. The filler gives off terrible chemical fumes and the sanding, well, to say it makes a mess would be an understatement, so outside it is.

    I started by stripping the bike back down and sanding and trimming the areas that where fouling the back wheel and chain. With that done, it was on to the first batch of filler.


    Then when it had set it was time for the dust to fly:


    Some areas need more filler than others, but it's slowly coming together. I've applied two coats so far, but there are still small voids and gaps, so I'll need to apply some more. But that needs to wait until the weather has returned above freezing.


    dave r, derrick, ChrisEyles and 12 others like this.
  5. alicat

    alicat Guru

    Good job with the filler.
  6. Randy Butternubs

    Randy Butternubs Senior Member

    I've lost track of the aesthetic decisions. Are you painting some, all or none of it? Are you going to paint over the smoothed lugs or do a final neat wrap with the cloth & epoxy?
  7. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    :laugh: you and me both!

    So I'd laid an extra coat of resin down after the initial sanding to see how it looked, but I realised that I wouldn't be able to recreate a good enough finish to make me happy.

    So it's back to plan A, which is:

    To smooth out the last of the irregularities in the lugs with filler.

    Paint the Lugs only in British Racing Green, followed by several coats of Lacquer.

    Remove the protective paper from the Bamboo frame tubes. Paint the entire frame in Lacquer.

    Crack open a beer.

    Build the bike up.
  8. Gary E

    Gary E Perfection on wheels

    Go on then! Some of us are watching this thread avidly waiting for new episodes :smile:

    On a related note, once you've completed this project (season 1) what are you'r plans for season 2? maybe a Bamboo Tandem or a Recumbent??

    Seriously, it's been great following your progress on here, thanks for sharing your project :smile:
    chriswoody, Nigel-YZ1, mjr and 6 others like this.
  9. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    Well as much as I'd love there to be a season 2, I've a feeling the wife would go mad at me!

    So I've been a little frustrated of late, as much as I've wanted to be marching on with this, the weather has other ideas. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working outside at the moment due to the dust and fumes generated by the filling and sanding. Frustratingly it's been far to cold to work outside too much. However I have had some odd occasions where I've managed to catch a window of good weather. So far it's been an endless round of sanding, applying more filler, then more sanding. I've used a range of different grades of sandpaper and the end result is really smooth. It's starting to look good and the headstock is 95% finished. The raw Bamboo is still hiding under it's protective paper and waiting for the day the lugs are painted before seeing the light of day again.

    I've also received the paint from spray.bike and bought some primer as well. Again I'll need to wait until Spring properly shows up, because the paint doesn't like to be used in cold temperatures, ideally 15°C would be best. So updates will slow down until Spring decides to finally show up I'm afraid.


  10. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Keep it going and take all the time you need to do a good job. This is one thread I always look forward to appearing, I'm full of admiration for you.
    C R and chriswoody like this.
  11. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    Thanks Joe. I'm determined to not get impatient, though it's hard at times!
    raleighnut and Drago like this.
  12. buzzy-beans

    buzzy-beans Well-Known Member

    @chriswoody I don't know what happened to my settings, but I have been away from your amazing build for quite some time, the big problem I have now is that my jaw is gaping open so much in utter and complete amazement at what you have created that typing this is proving to be quite difficult !!

    Roll on the warmer weather.

    All the best

    chriswoody likes this.
  13. I admire your patience. If it was me I'd be slapping on the paint in inappropriate conditions, and getting horrible results.

    Actually, that's not true. If it was me I'd have ballsed the whole thing up long ago.
    chriswoody, PpPete and buzzy-beans like this.